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MightyFly MVP, 1st Gen eVTOL (prototype)

MightyFly MVP, 1st Gen eVTOL air cargo prototype drone


MVP, 1st Gen eVTOL (prototype)
MightyFly
San Francisco, California, USA
www.mightyfly.com

MightyFly was founded by CEO Manal Habib in 2019 and is based in San Francisco, California, USA. Habib previously developed the first robust commercial flight controller for small drones, when she realized a need for a larger autonomous aircraft with a greater cargo capacity. Habib is a private pilot and aerospace engineering graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University. The goal of the company is to enable point-to-point, same-day, expedited deliveries that are fast, affordable and carbon neutral. MightyFly’s team of experts in the aerospace industry are uniquely qualified to disrupt the logistics industry via large autonomous cargo aircraft. (Images: MightyFly)

On April 20, 2021, MightyFly announced the development of their MF100 autonomous hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) air cargo prototype aircraft and that it had closed a $5.1 million USD seed funding round. Habib is the first female CEO of a hybrid-electric VTOL company that has raised funds of this level to date. The seedling funds will support the company's plans to scale its workforce and the production of its hybrid-electric VTOL cargo aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM).

MightyFly MVP, 1st Gen autonomous hybrid-electric VTOL air cargo prototype drone
The MVP, 1st Gen is the company's first generation autonomous hybrid-electric VTOL air cargo prototype drone that has a maximum payload of 100 lb (45 kg), has an estimated cruise speed of 150 mph (240 km/h) and a range of 600 miles (965 km). The designation MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product.

The nose of the aircraft opens to one side, allowing the cargo to be loaded and unloaded at the front of the aircraft. The aircraft can hold about 96 small parcel packages. The aircraft has eight dedicated VTOL propellers, one pusher propeller, a main fuselage, one main high wing, a V tail and has fixed skid landing gear. The range of the aircraft allows air cargo to be delivered from San Francisco to Los Angeles, for example, as well as deliveries from urban to rural areas.

The MVP, 1st Gen eVTOL received an FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate as of May 2021 and performed test flights in California.

Future goals
The company aims to achieve FAA Part 135 Air Carrier and Operator Certification, and airworthiness certifications in other markets such as Australia and Asia, providing logistics or cargo directly to the point of need, such as businesses in remote areas. Previously, MightyFly had flown a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) using the same flight controller; this demonstrator was flown under the 55 lb (25 kg) limit imposed by the FAA Part 107 regulations for small UAS. MightyFly is planning to build a larger hybrid-electric cargo drone with a 500 lb (225 kg) payload, with an estimated load of 150 packages.

MVP, 1st Gen eVTOL in flight

MVP, 1st Gen eVTOL in flight

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL cargo experimental drone
  • Piloting: Autonomous
  • Capacity: Cargo only (carries about 96 small packages)
  • Cruise speed: 150 mph (240 km/h)
  • Range: 600 miles (965 km)
  • Maximum payload: 100 lb (45 kg)
  • Propellers: 8 VTOL propellers (on two booms parallel to the fuselage), 1 pusher propeller
  • Electric Motors: 9 electric motors
  • Power source: Hybrid-electric power source
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Wings: 1 main high wing
  • Tail: 1 V tail
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear, with four small wheels to make it easy to push on a tarmac or in a hangar
  • Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft.

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